Saturday, May 09, 2020

Sri Lanka Becoming World's First Covid Coup Government

Tamil National Alliance backs Sri Lanka’s Rajapakse regime on COVID-19

by Athiyan Silva - WSWS

9 May 2020

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has come out in open support of Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapakse as he strengthens the presidency’s autocratic powers and relies ever more directly on the military amid the COVID-19 pandemic. TNA spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran made this unmistakably clear in his public statements, coming amid mounting working-class anger at the government’s handling of the lockdown.

Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapakse

The TNA held a closed-door meeting on Monday with Mahinda Rajapakse, the former president, current prime minister and brother of the current president. He is despised for overseeing the massacre of defenceless Tamil civilians and defeated fighters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the final days of the 1983-2009 Sri Lankan Civil War.

Biden Campaign Sidesteps Democracy, Press Shrugs

Democracy; NYT and WaPo Shrug

by Julie Hollar - FAIR

May 9, 2020

Blaming health risks due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the New York State Board of Elections announced last week that the state would simply cancel its Democratic presidential primary, leaving former Vice President Joe Biden to be proclaimed the victor without a vote. The response from the country’s two most prominent newspapers? Meh.

Under the headline “New York State Cancels Its Primary, Angering Sanders Camp,” the Washington Post‘s Sean Sullivan (4/27/20) framed the story as simply a battle between the Sanders campaign (and its allies) and state election officials, offering back-and-forth quotes from both sides.

Experiences of Israel's Apartheid Crime Scene

‘Apartheid is a Crime’: Former Swedish Diplomat Speaks about His Experiences in Occupied Palestine (VIDEO)

by Ramzy Baroud -

May 8, 2020

Mats Svensson is a former Swedish diplomat, an author and a photographer. His books include “Crimes, Victims and Witnesses – Apartheid in Palestine.” His latest volume, “Apartheid is a Crime – Portraits of Israeli Occupation,” was just released by Cunepress in Seattle.

Svensson joined me and my co-host Romana Rubeo on “Palestine Chronicle TV”, on May 6, to discuss his fascinating experiences in Palestine and the balancing act of being a diplomat and a conscientious human being who cares deeply about the principles of justice and equality.

Friday, May 08, 2020

Lockdown a Prison for India's Migrant Workers

Indian migrant workers in Chennai speak to WSWS about coronavirus pandemic

by Sasi Kumar and Moses Rajkumar - WSWS

8 May 2020

World Socialist Web Site reporters recently spoke with migrant workers and homeless people in Chennai about the worsening social conditions they now confront because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Chennai, India April 2020 image: NDTV

Tens of thousands of workers from various Indian states, including Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand, are living in Chennai, the capital of the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. These low-paid migrant workers are employed in construction and global production plants located in nearby industrial hubs, such as Sriperumbudur and Oragadam.

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Media Finding Racist Purchase for Blame China Pandemic Narrative

Why It’s Wrong (and Racist) to Blame Covid-19 on Chinese ‘Wet Markets’

by Joshua Cho - FAIR

May 7, 2020

The stigmatization of Asian people and their culture as “inferior” or “exotic” isn’t a new phenomenon. What is considered acceptable or “strange” meat is often the result of arbitrary cultural norms, and Chinese food has often suffered from hypocritical cultural appropriation once it became popular, before being stigmatized again by racist and propagandistic news coverage following the Covid-19 outbreak (, 3/6/20, 3/24/20).
New York Times depiction (1/25/20) of a wet market in Shenzhen, 
which is 680 miles from Wuhan (photo: Lam Yik Fei/New York Times).

Alongside a spike in hate crimes against Asian people are reports of Asian restaurants and other businesses—especially those owned and run by Chinese people—struggling to survive because of resurging racist stereotypes about “dirty” Chinese eating habits.

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Anatomy of Extractive Exploitation: Guatemala's Xinka and Canada's Pan American Silver

Xinka people of Guatemala and thousands of international supporters demand answers from Pan American Silver 

by MiningWatch Canada

May 6, 2020

Canadian mining company Pan American Silver is holding its Annual General Meeting (AGM) today in Vancouver, with a small group of company insiders in the room and limited phone access for others. But despite the challenges of being heard, Guatemalan communities are raising serious questions about the company's acquisition of the Escobal mine with its 2019 purchase of Tahoe Resources and about social division the company is sowing by intervening in communities during the global health pandemic.

November rally in Vancouver in solidarity with the Xinka people, 
in front of Ross Beaty's Biodiversity Museum at UBC 
(Source: Students for Mining Justice)

The peaceful resistance to the Escobal mine is asking (among other questions) why Pan American, after saying it is different than Tahoe Resources, is using the same tactics—like taking advantage of moments of crisis, such as COVID-19—to collect signatures and ID numbers from local community members who receive company donations. Will this information be used later to suggest Pan American has support for the mine?

China's Year of The (Corona) Goat: "They Are Going to Be Held Accountable for It"

US ramps up COVID-19 propaganda war against China

by Peter Symonds  - WSWS

6 May 2020

Confronting widespread public anger over its criminal negligence in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump administration is intensifying its campaign of unsubstantiated allegations and lies to shift the blame onto China.
Former TV Financial Analyst and Trump Administration Director of the
United States National Economic Council, Larry Kudrow,
Promises "China Will Pay."

As reported by CNN, Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow and other top officials have in recent weeks spoken to many foreign allies in an effort to enlist them in the campaign of denunciations directed against China for allegedly concealing the dangers of the virus.

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Playing the Plague Tambourine: Camus and Russia's Covid Response


by John Helmer, Moscow


May 5, 2020
After the episode of the sermon by the Jesuit priest, blaming the plague on the sinfulness of his congregation – “a calamity has befallen you, my brethren; you have deserved it…no earthly power – not even, note this well , vain human science – can shield you from His hand as it reaches out to you”; and after the journalist’s attempt at bribing the militia to arrange his escape from the plague city; and after the municipal administrator’s acknowledgement that “luckily, I have my work”; the visitor from Paris explained to himself in his diary that regarding the old Chinese custom of “playing the tambourine in front of the genie of the plague…it was quite impossible in reality to know whether the tambourine was more effective than other preventive health measures.”

So it seemed to the leading citizens of a town consumed by a pandemic imagined by the French writer Albert Camus seventy-five years ago.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Mordecai Ogada, Peter Ewart, Janine Bandcroft May 7, 2020

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

May 7, 2020

We are as yet still NOT broadcasting live from the CFUV studios in the basement of the Student Union Building at the University of Victoria, but are instead recording live-to-tape via Skype this day, April 16th, 2020.

The “Big Lie” concept is certainly not new, but in today’s “post truth” World, that once cynical tool of despots has become a condition of life, (like water for fish) so ubiquitous it is largely invisible for we immersed in it.

Nowhere is reality less evident than in the field of nature conservancy, where the comfortable certitude of unassailable good will being met by equally good deeds in truth bears little scrutiny.

Dr. Mordecai Ogada is a scientist, educator, author, and Executive Director of the Nanyuki, Kenya-based, Conservation Solutions Afrika.
Listen. Hear.

Ogada's book, ‘The Big Conservation Lie’, co-authored with Kenyan journalist, John Mbaria, is an unblinkered examination of the conservation industry in Africa, and searing indictment against the detrimental effects its malpractice visits against the environment and Africans, both human and non-human.

Dr. Mordecai Ogada in the first half.

And; is it too soon to wonder, just what happens after the sirens stop ringing? As it stands now, the global economy has for millions stopped: no work, no money, and no idea when they can pick up their lives and begin again providing for themselves and their families. We’re more fortunate than most in this country, Canada, but even so, that’s cold comfort to those living on the margins of our not entirely inclusive society. So, what next?

Peter Ewart is a Prince George-based writer whose latest, ‘Foxes in the henhouse – Who decides where bailout money goes?’ informs, Canada like our southern neighbour will rely on the expertise of BlackRock, the trans-national asset management colossus, (intricately implicated in the financial meltdown of 2008) to determine the country’s financial path out of the current financial disaster. What could go righter than that?

Peter Ewart and the Trudeau government inviting the fox into the treasury in the second half.

And; long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of what’s good to do in and around our town in the coming week; but first, Mordecai Ogada and discerning the Big (conservation) Lie.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:

Monday, May 04, 2020

Pre-emptive Attack: Blaming China Now for the Expected Covid Deaths to Come

Scapegoating China for US administration’s failures: Trump and Pompeo’s “big lie”

by Andre Damon - WSWS

4 May 2020
In a modern-day version of the “big lie,” the Trump administration is claiming that the COVID-19 pandemic is the product of the deliberate actions of the Chinese government.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Donald Trump at Osan Air Base, 
Korea in 2019. (Image Credit: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)  

On Sunday, President Donald Trump, in a “town hall” with Fox News, accused China of taking actions specifically intended to infect millions of Europeans and Americans.

Coronavirus Changing the World Irrevocably, Plus Guantánamo and WikiLeaks with Chris Cook on Gorilla Radio

Radio: I Discuss the Coronavirus Changing the World Irrevocably, Plus Guantánamo and WikiLeaks, with Chris Cook on Gorilla Radio

by Andy Worthington

Last Tuesday, I was delighted to speak to Chris Cook, for his radio show Gorilla Radio, beaming out to the world from Vancouver Island, in western Canada. Our full interview — an hour in total — can be found on Chris’s website. It’s also available here as an MP3, and I hope you have time to listen to it. A shorter version — about 25 minutes in total — will be broadcast in a few weeks’ time.

Andy Worthington calling for closure of Guantánamo outside the White House 
on January 11, 2020, the 18th anniversary of the prison’s opening 
(Photo: Witness Against Torture).

Chris began by playing an excerpt from the new release by my band The Four Fathers, ‘This Time We Win’, an eco-anthem inspired by the campaigning work of Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion.

Charting the Terror of Our Times: Mapping Militarism 2020

Mapping Militarism 2020

by David Swanson - World BEYOND War

May 1, 2020
A new collection of maps found here displays what militarism looks like in the world. Here’s a brief guide to using and understanding them.

Across the top are 10 drop-down menus on these topics: Wars, Weapons, U.S. Weapons, Money, Nukes, Chemical and Biological, U.S. Military, Air Strikes, Law, and Promotes Peace and Security.